Amazon Acquires Zoox, Makes Entry Into the Autonomous Vehicles Market

Amazon acquires Zoox

Amazon enters the autonomous vehicle market by acquiring Zoox. Is this the beginning of a new era in logistics?

E-commerce giant Amazon announced on Friday that the company is acquiring Zoox, an American autonomous vehicle company headquartered in California. The six-year-old startup is redefining mobility-as-a-service by developing a fully autonomous, purpose-built fleet designed for AI to drive and humans to enjoy.

Amazon is reportedly acquiring Zoox’s business for more than $1.2 billion. Zoox will however continue to operate as a standalone business within Amazon, led by Zoox CEO Aicha Evans and the company’s CTO & co-founder Jesse Levinson.

Zoox is creating a fully autonomous driverless car designed specifically for passenger rides, called a “robo-taxi.” Amazon intends to work with Zoox to create a fleet of self-driving taxis in competition with Alphabet’s Waymo.

Self-driven smart cars and delivery fleets rely on sensors, actuators, complex algorithms, machine learning systems, and powerful processors to execute driving tasks, even on busy roads. Autonomous vehicles are capable of creating and maintaining a map of their surroundings based on a variety of sensors situated. Video cameras detect traffic lights, read road signs, track other vehicles, and look for pedestrians.

“Zoox is working to imagine, invent, and design a world-class autonomous ride-hailing experience,” Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s CEO of global consumer, said in a statement. “Like Amazon, Zoox is passionate about innovation and its customers, and we’re excited to help the talented Zoox team bring their vision to reality in the years ahead.”

This bold move by Amazon marks its big entry to the autonomous vehicles market. Amazon has also bought smaller stakes in electric truckmaker Rivian and the self-driving start-up Aurora.

According to a CNBC report, Amazon could also integrate Zoox’s offerings into its logistics network to offer cheaper and faster delivery and its cashier-less grocery stores. This could be the beginning of a new logistics and customer satisfaction era, led by Amazon’s self-driven delivery trucks and customized fleet.

Amazon’s investments focus on developing a tech-driven logistics infrastructure to deliver orders faster to customers, with fleets of planes, trucks, and delivery drivers. With same-day delivery and hyperlocal delivery within a few hours becoming the new norm, Amazon’s self-driven delivery fleet will bring a whole new dimension to supply chain automation, lesser human dependency, and improved delivery efficiency backed by AI-driven vehicles.

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